House recently passed a bill stating that they were okay with raising the student body fee. This means that when you vote for your SGA officers you will also have the option to vote to raise the student body fee or not. The current fee is $20 every semester.
The money is then divided between Programming Council and House. PC uses the money for events, and House uses the money for a number of things, such as giving it back to student organizations.
The argument for raising the fee is that the reserves, where any unused money is siphoned, have been depleted over the past couple of years. They claim more funding would allow them to give more back to students.
It is not, however, in the students’ best interest to raise the fee.
Over the years SGA has decided that the reserves were high enough that they could spend extra money on projects that they deemed worthwhile.
When Jay Zeidman was president, he pushed the idea of the Group Work Stations in the library – the “pods” for short. The “pods” project cost SGA $40,000 from the reserves. This was despite the fact that the library seemed more than willing to offer more money to cover costs so that SGA would not have to spend so much.
Then came the Student Activities Funding Board. In itself it was a great idea, but the drafters of the bill decided to give the SAFB more funding than the budget allowed. This meant that the extra money would come from the reserve and thus further deplete the reserves not only in the first year, but every year after that.
Last came the Katrina Bill. This cost SGA $10,000 from the reserve. Granted, it was for a good cause, but if necessary, other means should have been used to fund the bill.
When these bills were proposed, representatives were told that the reserve had been accumulating for a number of years and that there was no reason not to spend the money to give back to the TCU community. However, now they use the same reasoning that because the reserves are low we need to raise the student body fee.
These actions prove a pattern of irresponsible planning and unwillingness on the part of SGA to spend within their means.
If the goal was to deplete the reserves in the first place, then why do we need to raise the student body fee to replenish the coffers?
There is no reason to raise the fee, at least not until SGA gets better leaders that can make better choices.
I see it one of two ways: They wanted to deplete the fund on purpose to have an excuse to raise the fee, or they did it on accident because they have been overspending for years. Either way, they are irresponsible.
Vote no to raising the fee.
Thomas Guidry is a junior computer information science major.